Honiton runners beat the bus

Honiton Running Club’s Stephen Boyes’ plan for last weekend was to ride pillion on a motorbike with a friend from Land’s End to John O’Groats stopping off en route to run the Cheltenham Challenge Marathon. The marathon proved to be the easy part. Steve managed to finish in 4 hours 43 minutes having only got lost once, writes Judy Davey.

However, the motorbike ride did not go as planned since the weather was worse than February. They did the Land’s End leg with Boyes saying that the heavy rain and very strong winds made it dangerous, so the John O’Groats leg was postponed. Boyes was pleased he’d completed the marathon, as he enjoyed the scenic circular route.

Five Honiton runners took part in Sidmouth Running Club’s ‘Beat the Bus’ last Wednesday evening. Runners begin at Otterton at exactly the same time as the bus leaves for Sidmouth. Obviously, the bus takes the road route whilst runners take the more direct off-road route via Peak Hill to Sidmouth and back again. Time is recorded for both runners and the bus as they arrive back at the start in Otterton.

Steve Davey was first back for Honiton in 45 minutes 30 seconds in 16th position with Bruce Strawbridge not too far behind in 19th place in 46:35. Howard Bidmead was next back in 27th position in 49:37. Olivia Higginson and Nick Bradley-Carter often have a battle for finish position and this time Bradley-Carter was defeated because he took a wrong turn and had to be brought back on track by a marshal on a quad bike. This meant that he lost valuable time and Higginson made the most of it coming in 49th place in 55:43 with Nick 54th in 56:56. The bus took exactly 59 minutes finishing 61st meaning that Honiton could celebrate as all its runners managed to ‘Beat the Bus’. There were 87 runners altogether.

Graham Reeves and Lesley Crocker took part in the Torbay Half Marathon, a good race with a strong field.

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The men’s winner, Tewodros Shiferaw of Birchfield Harriers, crossed the line in 01:06:14 and the female winner Annabella Granger, of Bristol and West AC completed the race in 1:21:20.

It was well supported on the streets during the two-lap route from Paignton to Torquay and back with a couple of hills chucked in for good measure. As the runners entered Torquay they were even serenaded by two gentlemen belting out some classic tunes.

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The rain held off during the race and thankfully it was not too warm; the only frustrating issue was a problem with 100 of the timing chips, which was finally resolved by Wednesday and Crocker was delighted to discover that she had completed the run in 01:55:42, a new personal best time. This was Reeves’ fourth half marathon this year and he managed his third pb, 93rd in a time of 1:32:04. Reeves was very happy with the result and is looking forward to more half marathons this year.

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